Sep 28 2008 by Phil Doherty, Sunday Sun
THE man at the centre of the triple jab controversy has accused the Government of conducting a witch hunt against him.
Dr Andrew Wakefield has been pilloried by the medical establishment after he voiced fears 10 yeas ago the Measles Mumps and Rubella inoculation could cause autism in some kids it was given to.
Now working in the USA, he was called back to appear before a General Medical Council disciplinary hearing earlier this year to answer charges of serious professional misconduct.
Speaking for the first time since the hearing was adjourned in July, he said: “What the establishment does is throw stuff at you continuously and then tie you up for years with things like the GMC.
“It is not a question of not vaccinating. I’m not against vaccinations. I don’t know for sure vaccines cause autism but I suspect they do. The opposition just states categorically it does not. But they don’t know either.”
Dr Wakefield and two other colleagues professor Simon Murch and Professor John Walker-Smith, were summoned to the GMC disciplinary hearing over allegations that research they conducted on children breached ethical codes.
If found guilty they face being struck off the medical register.
This follows years of being reviled in parts of the medical world after they published a scientific paper in the Lancet that said there could be a link between the MMR vaccine, and autism and bowel disease.
At a Press conference in 1998 Dr Wakefield said while further research was conducted to see if there was a link, parents should have the single inoculations instead of the triple jabs. At the time of the research it was claimed he had been paid to carry out another study to find out if parents who said their children were damaged by the MMR had a case.
The Lancet said this was a potential conflict of interest and if they had known they would have rejected the research paper.
Dr Wakefield said: “I was accused of going beyond the science when I suggested that parents should have single jabs until the MMR had been properly assessed for risk.
“I had assessed the data and the safety study relied upon by the Department of Health and it was derisory. It was no way as good as the research into the single jabs.
“Bernadine Healy, the former head of the US National Institute for Health, admitted they had altered evidence on the epidemiological studies conducted by the US Government to suit the official line. She admitted the evidence both the US and UK relies on is useless.
“The UK Government has a big dirty secret that it doesn’t want the public to know . . . they agreed to under write any compensation claims for the MMR. This is why they can’t and won’t let their position fail.
“It was inevitable I was going to be dragged in front of the GMC because I dared to question big business. They always come after those who don’t toe their line.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We believe that the vaccine has an excellent safety record and studies have confirmed this belief.
“Neither population-based studies or studies in individual children have confirmed a link between MMR vaccine and autism.”